NEW YORK — Hill’s Pet Nutrition posted the largest net sales growth rate of all businesses owned by Colgate-Palmolive in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2021. The company shared its fourth quarter and full-year financial results in late January.

Fourth-quarter net sales for Hill’s Pet Nutrition totaled $885 million, up 12.2% year-over-year. Full-year net sales for the pet food segment came to $3.3 billion, up 14.8% from $2.9 billion in fiscal 2020. The science-based pet food business currently makes up roughly 20% of Colgate-Palmolive’s total sales.

“We were pleased to finish 2021 with a continuation of our strong growth momentum, particularly in our oral care and pet nutrition businesses, both of which delivered an acceleration in net and organic sales growth in full year 2021 versus 2020,” said Noel Wallace, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Colgate-Palmolive.

Colgate-Palmolive attributed Hill’s fourth-quarter success to organic sales growth seen in the United States and European markets. Operating profit for this segment also improved in the fourth quarter, up 17.5% year-over-year to $241 million, attributable to higher pricing, cost savings, a decreased investment in advertising, and reduced overhead expenses, the company stated.

These gains were partially offset by “significantly higher raw and packaging material costs” as well as notably higher logistics costs in the fourth quarter, which reflect supply chain challenges seen across the industry.

“…There is still much uncertainty stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, increases in raw material and logistics costs and volatility in consumer demand and currencies,” Wallace stated. “With costs expected to remain elevated in 2022, our funding the growth and revenue growth management initiatives, including higher pricing, will be more important than ever.”

In the company’s fourth quarter earnings call on Jan. 28, John Faucher, chief investor relations officer at Colgate-Palmolive, said Hill’s Pet Nutrition was a leader in organic sales growth in 2021, marking its second consecutive year of double-digit organic sales growth. The company’s Oral Care business also led in this category.

Faucher also shared Hill’s Pet Nutrition is poised to continue benefitting from the company’s “digital transformation” after posting strong e-commerce sales growth in 2021.

“Hill’s finished another great year with a strong fourth quarter,” Faucher said. “…The US continued to lead Hill’s growth performance, with strength across the gamut of brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retail partners. We expect another strong year for Hill’s in 2022, with strong levels of advertising support, best-in-class e-commerce execution, innovation and pricing growth.”

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